Africa Needs Rural Tourism to Empower Local Communities

Indaba 2024 - image courtesy of A.Tairo
image courtesy of A.Tairo

Concluding 4 days of successful tourism exhibition at the annual Africa Travel Indaba 2024 in South Africa, travel and tourism executives from Africa and other continents have rated rural tourism the best for empowering local communities on the African continent.

Taking a case study on South Africa, tourism experts and business executives said through discussions during the Indaba 2024 tourism exhibition staged in Durban last week that Africa needs to develop then invest in rural tourism for empowering local communities through global tourism.

More than 150 tourist accommodation facilities and village tourism projects in villages and small towns in South Africa were awarded certificates of compliance and recognition for completing the Basic Quality Verification (BQV) program during the Indaba 2024 tourism exhibition.

South African Deputy Minister of Tourism Mr. Amos Mahlalela said rural tourism would benefit women, youth, and people with disabilities in Africa.

The BQV program is under the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa which is working to support homestays and emerging tourism ventures in small communities also referred to as growth for villages, towns, and small communities.

It guides those establishments through a structured development process, enabling them to engage with the tourism market and access funding, targeting to support smaller and less formal tourist hotels, lodges, and guest houses to become part of the tourism industry. The minister said:

He highlighted the pivotal role played by the verified establishments at the heart of their communities, generating business opportunities and fostering a conducive environment for local development.

“It is imperative that we sustain and expand this program to ensure inclusivity in our tourism offerings, thereby contributing to the growth of the economy,” said Mahlalela.

Chief Quality Assurance Officer for South African Tourism Bronwen Auret said that the BQV program introduces tourism accommodation providers to standards and norms of quality assurance, serving as a crucial entry point into the realm of formalized tourism practices.

African Tourism Board (ATB) Chairman Mr. Cuthbert Ncube participated in Indaba 2024 and then met and held discussions with Malawi and Eswatini tourism ministers.

“We are delighted to share the successful outcomes of Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024, held in the vibrant city of Durban. This year’s event not only highlighted the diverse tourism offerings of the continent, but also fostered important dialogues and partnerships,” Mr. Ncube said.

Indaba 2024 one | eTurboNews | eTN
image courtesy of A.Tairo

Discussions emphasized the importance of cooperation between the African Tourism Board and individual countries like Malawi and Eswatini to unlock Africa’s tourism potential.

All leaders emphasized sustainable tourism development to preserve cultural heritage for future generations. Innovative strategies were explored to elevate the visitor experience across Africa through technology and community-based projects, Mr. Ncube said through a message.

An agreement was reached to improve transportation networks within Africa for more convenient and efficient travel for tourists.

The meetings between ATB Chairman and the 2 ministers have set the stage for upcoming efforts, such as joint marketing campaigns, capacity building projects, and advocacy for tourism support policies, ATB said through a message to its members and other partners.

Africa’s Travel Indaba is the biggest travel and tourism event on the continent and brings together captains of industries, travel agents, tourism ministers from various countries, and the continent’s tourism investors and operators under one roof.

WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

(eTN): Africa Needs Rural Tourism to Empower Local Communities | re-post license post content


About the author

Apolinari Tairo - eTN Tanzania

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Share to...